After a year and a half of bargaining with little progress, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) has filed for conciliation in Ontario and Québec following a breakdown in talks with The Canadian Press (CP).
The newswire service’s collective agreement expired in 2018, but was extended for an additional year as bargaining commenced. This is the first time the two sides have had to negotiate under provincial labour jurisdiction, with CMG saying it’s been one of the most contentious rounds of bargaining in recent memory.
The union is first seeking conciliation in Québec and Ontario, where the bulk of CP’s 177 unionized employees work. Scott Edmonds, the CMG representative leading talks for the union, says it’s hoped provincial conciliators can move the deadlocked talks forward.
“The company continues to seek concessions from members who have already stepped up over and over again to help the employer weather some tough times, and enough is enough,” said Edmonds, in a CMG release. “Editorial employees, in particular, have seen their pay drop further and further behind colleagues at news operations in the major cities where most work. With inflation on the rise this cannot continue.”
CP provides media outlets across the country with everything from news coverage to licensed audio, news packages, video and images, as well as editorial and digital content curation services. It counts almost every major broadcaster and publisher among its clients including CBC/Radio-Canada, Global News, CTV News, Postmedia, The Globe and Mail, La Presse, Saltwire Network, and numerous independent television and radio groups.
CMG says it remains hopeful that CP management will return to the bargaining table “in good faith” in the coming weeks. The union says if conciliation fails, a strike or lockout position is possible at the end of the process.
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